|Vern and Debbie Darley|
But I, when they were sick--I wore sackcloth;
I afflicted myself with fasting;
I prayed with head bowed on my chest.
I went about as though I grieved
for my friend or my brother;
as one who laments his mother,
I bowed down in mourning.
Over the years we have had many opportunities to help those who were in troubles of one sort or another--afflicted, as the KJV would put it. Although what I will go on to say will not appear so, we consider every opportunity to help someone a great blessing. Once we were privileged to have a pastor whose wife had suddenly left him, stay in our home for a month while they reconciled. We have had a Japanese girl live with us for a year and more than one college student lived with us. My mother lived with us the last 5 years of her life. Friends lost their home in a tornado and lived with us for several weeks while they relocated. Another time we kept their 3 oldest children for several weeks while the mom had a difficult pregnancy and delivery. It was a privilege to pray for these folks and to help them as we could. Over the years we have taught and we have counseled. (This is not a pat-myself-on-the-shoulder post, I can promise you!)
Of the many who have lived with us or whom we have helped in other ways, few have remained faithful friends. Some have turned their backs on us completely or left us with their bills to pay; and some we have just not heard from again, though I think they appreciated it at the time. We decided long ago that we will not do for others with the hope of getting any earthly reward for it; and therefore , we can consider it a blessing. But sometimes we end up feeling like David did in Psalm 35!
Then along come Vern and Debbie, friends with whom we served in the USAF 40 years ago. Deb is in cancer treatment at UAMS hospital in Little Rock, and we had lunch with them last week. Her cancer is considered incurable, and she is going into her third year of treatment after having been told she had 3 months to live. Were we an encouragement to them? I have no idea, but I must say that they encouraged us! Deb is a spunky gal with an attitude that says, "I don't quit." Vern is a loving supporter who makes it his goal to bring joy and comfort into her life. And these two precious people could not thank us enough for taking the time to come to lunch with them and for what seemed to my husband a very small thing that he did for Vern many years ago. It made my life richer to spend time with those two precious people who love the Lord and others with a vivacious and tenacious spirit. Thank you, Vern and Debbie, for being a part of our lives.
Don't give up on doing what's right, even though you may never see the reward of doing so on this earth. This earth is not our home--we're only passing through! It's worth the time and effort, I promise.
Please pray for Deb as she goes through treatment, coming to Little Rock from Atlanta every 3 months. Please go to her website and follow this wonderful woman's path as they trust the Lord with her life. Her blog is http://debdarley.blogspot.com/.
Praying for Deb,